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Discuss Sockets in bathrooms in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

How long before BS 7671 allows socket outlets in bathrooms

  • Amendment to 18th

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • 19th

    Votes: 5 29.4%
  • Never - far too dangerous

    Votes: 11 64.7%

  • Total voters
    17
  • Poll closed .
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A friend of mine has installed a BS-1363 socket in their bathroom, well outside of the zones (but not 3m outside) and protected by a type A RCBO which is itself downstream of a type AC RCD. The friend installed the socket in a 40mm back box, and when (s)he moves house and gets an EICR, the socket will be replaced by a BS-4573 shaver socket.

This got me thinking: do we think 7671 will ever permit 1363 sockets in "Locations containing a bath or shower"?
 
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buzzlightyear

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Arms
Esteemed
Sockets are not allowed in bathrooms or shower rooms (apart from shaver-supply units) unless they can be fitted at least three metres from the bath or shower.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
In this room, the current regulations prohibit socket outlets unless they're at least 3m away from the bath and the shower. I wondered what members thought of the future, though?
 

pc1966

Arms
Esteemed
I think the issue is not just "Can water / wet hands touch the socket?" as much as "What will a future moron will bring in, plug in, and perch on the bath side?"

Of course an RCD ought to cover most of that risk, but RCD are not infallible and a good wet connection could result in a very high current before the RCD disconnects in tens of milliseconds.
 

Lister1987

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Trainee
Supporter
I think the issue is not just "Can water / wet hands touch the socket?" as much as "What will a future moron will bring in, plug in, and perch on the bath side?"

Of course an RCD ought to cover most of that risk, but RCD are not infallible and a good wet connection could result in a very high current before the RCD disconnects in tens of milliseconds.
Maybe the regs will update and stipulate IP69 RCD sockets being allowed? Covers the RCD side and the water ingress issue
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Maybe the regs will update and stipulate IP69 RCD sockets being allowed? Covers the RCD side and the water ingress issue
Interesting thought, although I don't imagine that water ingress into the fitting is really the issue.
 

snowhead

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Mentor
There's no reason /need it should ever be changed.

Unless the London Fire Brigade produce evidence to prove not having sockets within 3mtrs is a danger.
 

Lister1987

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Trainee
Supporter
Interesting thought, although I don't imagine that water ingress into the fitting is really the issue.
Neither do I but it would tick the boxes, was more for the RCD protection than anything so if you did get someone with a distain for life and wants to bathe with Talkie Toaster, you have the additional RCD protection
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There's no reason /need it should ever be changed.

Unless the London Fire Brigade produce evidence to prove not having sockets within 3mtrs is a danger.
Why LFB? or just LFAs in general?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Why LFB? or just LFAs in general?
LFB may have a history of questionable stats having undue influence on the British Standards. Or may not; who knows?
 
From a layman's perspective, I'd be inclined to view this in terms of benefits weighed against potential risks.


My parent's house used to have a 5A socket fitted to the bathroom ceiling, close to the door. They used to plug a night light into it and no one ever came to any harm, but that socket recently disappeared along with the perished VIR cable that brought power to it.
 
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andyb

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Arms
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A friend of mine has installed a BS-1363 socket in their bathroom, well outside of the zones (but not 3m outside) and protected by a type A RCBO which is itself downstream of a type AC RCD. The friend installed the socket in a 40mm back box, and when (s)he moves house and gets an EICR, the socket will be replaced by a BS-4573 shaver socket.

This got me thinking: do we think 7671 will ever permit 1363 sockets in "Locations containing a bath or shower"?
It already does allow sockets in bathrooms, and not 3m from zones but 3m from zone 1. So, it can't be within 2.4m of the bath or shower.
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I have a socket outlet within 1m of my bath tub, it just happens to be on the landing.
You have a bath on the landing? :)
 

Julie.

Arms
Esteemed
I don't understand what you would want a 1363 socket in a bathroom for?
With my sensible head on - realistically it would appear ok for things like phone chargers/radio/tech and so on as some people will relax in a bath with media playing or gaming I guess.

Beyond that, I don't think anything should be connectable within the 3m range.

A rcd will be of little use, as soaking wet, even a few mA will be able to pass direct through the heart; whilst when dry (ish) the actual current through the vital organs would be reduced and the operating time does allow reasonable protection.

So I don't think there should ever be allowed the use of any 230V outlets within the 3m

However, I do think a new type outlet should be designed and approved for within this zone, and that would effectively be a USB port - having similar isolation as the shaver outlets

So people won't be inclined to run extension leads for phone/tech chargers into the zone!
 

Andy78

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However, I do think a new type outlet should be designed and approved for within this zone, and that would effectively be a USB port - having similar isolation as the shaver outlets

So people won't be inclined to run extension leads for phone/tech chargers into the zone!

That rings a bell.
I'm sure it's been argued on this forum before that currently available usb charging euro modules would suffice for current rules in bathrooms.
 

Julie.

Arms
Esteemed
That rings a bell.
I'm sure it's been argued on this forum before that currently available usb charging euro modules would suffice for current rules in bathrooms.
The issue for me is that there's no guarantee in the current requirements for proper isolation with the USB ports.

It may be the case that there is in most cases, but there needs to be a rule - either all USB outlets must have proper isolation suitable for use in a zone, in which case you could use any; or that those that do have proper isolation are marked as such, in which case those would be the only ones which could be used in a zone.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
I don't understand what you would want a 1363 socket in a bathroom for?
You don't have much call for a hairdryer? I know I don't 🤣
 

davesparks

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You don't have much call for a hairdryer? I know I don't 🤣
Actually I do, and hair straighteners occasionally, my hair is well past shoulder length. But I have never yet felt the need to use a hairdryer in the bathroom.
 

littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
I think I mentioned once installing a usb socket in a bathroom, but I’ve not done it yet due to being advised it wasn’t the same isolating transformer as a shaver point.
Might put it outside the bathroom by the light switch....

when my family visited my brother in law in New Zealand, they had an rcd protected socket in the bathroom. One of those power breaker branded types. It was right next to the basin, but across the room from the bathtub. Possibly a metre away?
different regulations of course.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
when my family visited my brother in law in New Zealand, they had an rcd protected socket in the bathroom. One of those power breaker branded types. It was right next to the basin, but across the room from the bathtub. Possibly a metre away?
different regulations of course.
Common on the continent, too. I'm surprised people think it's too dangerous here. I think my friend decided that the trip hazard from the hairdryer cable going under the door from the landing was a worse risk than a socket near the mirror :D
 

davesparks

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Common on the continent, too. I'm surprised people think it's too dangerous here. I think my friend decided that the trip hazard from the hairdryer cable going under the door from the landing was a worse risk than a socket near the mirror :D
Yes UK electrical regulations can be very old fashioned at times, but have also been regarded as being among the safest in the world.
Should we lower our standards on some things to match what other countries do, or should they raise their standards to match what we do?

Of course we aren't perfect and there are areas where the UK needs to raise its standards to match the rest of the world, such as with TNCS supplies and earth electrodes.
 

littlespark

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Ive seen it a few times in park homes, or holiday homes (static caravans to you and I)
The space in the shower room, if theres enough room to fit in a washing machine or tumble drier or something.... so Danny DIY goes and fits a double socket.
Had to remove anything like that if we were tasked with selling the caravan on.

Some homes came new with the boiler cupboard inside the bathroom.... behind a cabinet door, turned out to be about 1m from outside the shower cubicle door...

All these newer units had an RCD mainswitch in their own CU, plus the 16A RCBO hookup from the park. (2 x 30mA in line.... never good)

I doubt if theres a difference in the electrical regs between a holiday unit, and whats classed as a residential unit... differences in the build. (higher ceiling, more floorspace in bedrooms) but should be no difference in wiring regs.

But back to the OP... Im certain no future editions will allow it. No one knows how long flexes could be? so you could have the situation of a radio, or small plug in heater sitting precariously close to a bathtub full of water and wet human.
If someone wants to do it with extension leads from the landing, then that's where Darwin Awards get their nominations from.
 
I don't understand what you would want a 1363 socket in a bathroom for?
I'd love to blow-dry my hair in the bathroom... nice big mirror in there too ! Where do you usually blow-dry yours ?
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But back to the OP... Im certain no future editions will allow it. No one knows how long flexes could be? so you could have the situation of a radio, or small plug in heater sitting precariously close to a bathtub full of water and wet human.
If someone wants to do it with extension leads from the landing, then that's where Darwin Awards get their nominations from.
We just need a rule against "stupidity"... and not just for wiring regulations either. Imagine if we had a law against "being stupid"... it would cover so much and make law enforcement far easier. I think I'm onto something here...
 

andyb

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Imagine if we had a law against "being stupid"... it would cover so much and make law enforcement far easier. I think I'm onto something here...
I'd have to turn myself in.
 

pc1966

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We just need a rule against "stupidity"... and not just for wiring regulations either. Imagine if we had a law against "being stupid"... it would cover so much and make law enforcement far easier. I think I'm onto something here...
Yes but look at the bunch of morons who get to decide what new laws are passed...
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I think I mentioned once installing a usb socket in a bathroom, but I’ve not done it yet due to being advised it wasn’t the same isolating transformer as a shaver point.
I guess a USB charger is small enough load to be fed off a shaver isolation transformer?
 
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littlespark

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I guess a USB charger is small enough load to be fed off a shaver isolation transformer?
Probably. But id have to supply the usb charger from the secondary side of the shaver transformer, which could mean soldering. Dont normally come with screw terminals on the outgoing.
Or a usb charger that just plugs in? European charger perhaps?
 

pc1966

Arms
Esteemed
Probably. But id have to supply the usb charger from the secondary side of the shaver transformer, which could mean soldering. Dont normally come with screw terminals on the outgoing.
Or a usb charger that just plugs in? European charger perhaps?
Look to see if the isolating transformers are separately available, maybe to fit one half of a euro type modular plate and a deep back-box, or see if USB modules are available that fully meet the isolation requirements on their own.

A new market opportunity for someone?
 

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